The Cloud as a solution
The cloud whether all-inclusive or Virtual private is a solution to the growing needs of data management, scalability and security. The adoption of the various cloud computing models is helping eliminate data management problems which include storage, security and mobility.
According to a “State of the cloud report” conducted by Rightscale shows that the migration to the cloud is growing over time as seen in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1. (2017 State of the Cloud Survey, 2017)
The graphical representation of cloud adoption in Figure 1 above shows growth in cloud migration between the year 2015 and 2017 on different platforms. The public cloud increased by 1% between the year 2015 and 2017 while the Private cloud adoption reduced by 5% between the year 2016 and 2017. The hybrid cloud adoption increased tremendously between 2015 and 2017.
Migration to the cloud for a small business would save lots of space since the cloud provides sufficient space and the space contained locally can now be utilized for the more important services and high priority customers considering the day to day development of cloud services (Elsa, 28). An important aspect to consider here is the ability to scale up or down as needed. With a good response time a user is able to manage their load on need basis ensuring you only pay for what you need.
Choosing between the cloud vs in-house hosting is being determined by how much an institution or an individual is willing to control. In his article, “The Cloud vs. In-House Infrastructure: Deciding Which Is Best For Your Organization.” Alex Lesser states that, “The decision between using a public cloud and building your own IT infrastructure is not so different than deciding between renting a workspace for your business or buying your own building; both decisions boil down to having total control (and responsibility) over your own environment versus depending on a landlord to provide an adequate workspace and fix problems quickly and adequately” (Alex Lesser).
The SaaS, PaaS and IaaS
These three models will aid in determining the type of service that’s most appropriate for different businesses, individuals or institutions. Software as a service (SaaS) such as Google Apps, Concur, Salesforce and Cisco WebEx will relieve the company of software maintenance work since it is handled by a third party, Platform as a Service (PaaS) will go a step further by allowing users to have their own software.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is ideal for a new company as it saves on the cost of buying new computing devices and applications which are not needed. IaaS as opposed to on-site servers will allow users to modify their data center on need basis making it a better option among the three models (Stephen, Watts).
Figure 2 below summarizes the above models and compares the key differences between the three which will help a client determine the best option. The services that are highlighted in green indicate what a client would manage and the orange ones show what the third party provider will manage. The traditional on-premises or on-site hosting will allow a user to manage everything as opposed to a SaaS client who only needs a PC to access all the services.
Summary of Key Differences
Figure 2. (Watts, 2018)
Regardless of which model is adopted, the services are going to be inexpensive compared to on-site hosting main reason being the fact that people are able to share the resources and scalability which provides efficiency.
In their article namely the “Journal of International Technology and Information Management, vol. 22”, Krishnadas, and Pillai present three levels which can be considered when migrating to the cloud. The first level will be simply comparing between working with on-site hosting and migrating to the cloud. The second one is more focused on the work load and the speed required for the data transfer while the third will only utilize the cloud for new projects only (Krishnadas and Pillai, 95). In this case the most cost-effective option can be determined.
According to Aarti Singh an author of a novel that discusses cost optimization and resource provisioning, cloud services are relatively low considering the fact that the resources are shared and are scalable and can only be deployed according to an individual’s need (Singh, Juneja and Malhotra, 2015).
Furthermore the Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud services allow users to choose from a range of services which will in turn determined the price. The prices keep changing due to various offers that these providers give every now and then but overall AWS is considered the less expensive option according to “PackMyCloud”.
Figure 3 below gives a breakdown of pay-as-you-go package price comparison between Google cloud platform, Microsoft Azure and AWS. The breakdown is based on Linux Virtual Machines in East Virginia as of May 1st 2018 (Cloud Pricing Comparison, 2018)
Figure 3. (Cloud Pricing Comparison, 2018)
A number of things to put into consideration here include the current data that will be migrated, the service provider and the platform which may be private or community (hybrid).
Additionally, organizations should identify how applications and services involved will be hosted and subsequently affected (Atreyee, 32).
According to an article by American Barcode and RFID, Some setbacks that may be experienced during implementation may include equipment failure or software issues and therefore it would be important to first weigh the options before starting the implementation.
Some steps to consider include; “Defining the project, selecting the platform, selecting the cloud computing provider, understanding the security policies, determining the level of agreement, understanding who owns the recovery and migrating in phases” and considering the unforeseen challenges that may occur, it is important to consider a flexible option (How to Implement Cloud Services – AB&R (American Barcode and RFID, 2014).
Wenzel, Elsa. “Cloud Migration Can Lift a Business Struggling with IT Issues: Moving Your Server Room and Local Apps to the Cloud Can Eliminate Hassles and Lower Expenses.” PC World, no. 3, 2011, p. 28. EBSCOhost, login.applibproxy.fvtc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.249136111&site=eds-live.
Editors, Forbes Technology Council. “The Cloud Vs. In-House Infrastructure: Deciding Which Is Best For Your Organization.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 25 July 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/07/25/the-cloud-vs-in-house-infrastructure-deciding-which-is-best-for-your-organization/#524e6e9d20f6.
Watts, Stephen. “SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS: What’s The Difference and How To Choose via @BMCSoftware.” Introduction to COBIT – BMC Software, BMC, 30 Apr. 2018, www.bmc.com/blogs/saas-vs-paas-vs-iaas-whats-the-difference-and-how-to-choose/.
Aarti, Singh, et al. “A Novel Agent Based Autonomous and Service Composition Framework for Cost Optimization of Resource Provisioning in Cloud Computing.” Journal of King Saud University: Computer and Information Sciences, Vol 29, Iss 1, Pp 19-28 (2017), no. 1, 2017, p. 19. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.jksuci.2015.09.001.
“Comparing Cloud Instance Pricing: AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Vs IBM”. Rightscale.Com, 2018, https://www.rightscale.com/blog/cloud-cost-analysis/comparing-cloud-instance-pricing-aws-vs-azure-vs-google-vs-ibm.
Ganguly, Atreyee. “Security over Open Cloud.” Dataquest, vol. 31, no. 12, 30 June 2013, p. 32. EBSCOhost, login.applibproxy.fvtc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=p6h&AN=89389670&site=eds-live.
“Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.
“Cloud Pricing Comparison 2018.” ParkMyCloud, www.parkmycloud.com/cloud-pricing-comparison/.
Manager, Web. “10 Steps to a Successful Cloud Migration.” Cloud Computing, Blog, www.newgenapps.com/blog/cloud-solutions-implementation.
“How to Implement Cloud Services – AB;R (American Barcode and RFID).” AB&R, 6 Aug. 2014, www.abr.com/implement-cloud-services/.
Nanath, Krishnadas, and Radhakrishna Pillai. “A model for cost-benefit analysis of cloud computing.” Journal of International Technology and Information Management, vol. 22, no. 3, 2013, p. 95+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A367545759/AONE?u=foxvtc&sid=AONE&xid=89598569.
“Cloud Computing Trends: 2017 State of the Cloud Survey.” Cloud Computing Trends: 2018 State of the Cloud Survey, www.rightscale.com/blog/cloud-industry-insights/cloud-computing-trends-2017-state-cloud-survey.